State Representative Hailey Dies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State Representative Hailey Dies

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WASHINGTON--  Representative Steve Hailey, who had been fighting colon cancer for about a year, died Sunday at the age of 63. 

Mesa native Hailey announced he would be resigning from his first term in the house earlier this month because of his cancer.  His last day was slated to be January 11th.

Hailey was a decorated Vietnam veteran and served as an army helicopter pilot.  Those closest to him knew him as a rancher and a farmer.  He's survived by his wife and two children. 

On Sunday we spoke with Representative Joe Schmick, who worked in the 9th District with Hailey.  Schmick says Hailey will be missed.

"I think he's going to be a huge, loss for the people of the 9th district because he was a real advocate," says Representative Schmick.  "Not just for the people down in the area there where he lived, but for the whole district."

Local republican leaders will choose three nominees to replace him.  The finalist will be selected by County Commissioners.